Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

High-Impact Hummus Nine ways to make this on-trend ingredient a menu signature - with Minor's

 

by Flavor & the Menu

Hummus is having a moment. Starring chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, consumers have discovered this craveable, wholesome Middle Eastern dip. It has become a familiar, welcome option on shareable menus, with Datassential reporting that 51% of consumers have tried it and 27% want to try it. That familiarity, coupled with enthusiasm around global flavor discovery, is propelling hummus further into creative recipe development.

We’re seeing innovation with hummus on bar snack menus and shareables, where chefs are now adding on-trend flavors and making it their own. They’re also tapping into its potential beyond dips, using hummus in other menuparts such as sandwich spreads, components of bowl builds, breakfast items and more. Ease of execution makes leveraging this trend appealing to modern restaurants. Being low in fat and a good source of plant-based protein makes it an attractive choice for both health-conscious diners and vegetarians/vegans.

“With Minor’s® Ready to Flavor Bases and Flavor Concentrates, the possible flavor combinations are countless,” says Chef Greg Allen Taylor, CEC, Minor’s. “Creating flavored hummus, like Fire Roasted Poblano Hummus or Bacon Hummus, is as easy as whisking in a spoonful of Minor’s. You can offer a choice of flavors—not just one— so patrons can customize and have a reason to come back and try something different. It doesn’t have to be a one-off LTO to work operationally.”

He recently spotted a turkey burger topped with sweet potato-ancho hummus. “The hummus was given a big flavor boost with roasted sweet potatoes, Minor’s Roasted Garlic and Ancho Concentrates and Minor’s Vegetable Base,” says Taylor. “As a professional chef, I am not surprised to see the use of Minor’s Ready to Flavor products in flavored hummus applications—from spreads and dips to dressings and sauces.”

Nine Ways to Signaturize Hummus

Now that hummus is seeing more menu play, the opportunity for differentiation is huge. Here are nine ideas that showcase its potential for cross utilization and signature flavor.

Three Signature Dips
  1. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus — Blend in roasted red pepper, top with goat cheese crumbles; serve with crostini
  2. Hummus Provençal — Whisk in Minor’s Herb de Provence Flavor Concentrate; serve with crudités
  3. Pumpkin Hummus — Blend in pumpkin purée and cinnamon; serve with spiced pita
Three Signature Spreads
  1. Chipotle Hummus — Whisk in Minor’s Chipotle Flavor Concentrate; spread over naan flatbread, top with jalapeño, cilantro and queso fresco
  2. Avocado Hummus — Blend in avocado and Minor’s Cilantro Lime Flavor Concentrate; spread over artisanal toast, top with runny poached egg
  3. Curried Hummus — Add curry powder and turmeric; spread on a flour tortilla, top with chicken shawarma and grilled onion
Three Signature Moves
  1. Add a swipe of flavored hummus on a plate as part of a modern salad build; add romaine, fried chickpeas, roasted red pepper, pickled red onion and tomato
  2. Finish a modern bowl build with a scoop of flavored hummus, adding a punch of plant-based protein
  3. Finish an omelet with hummus, black beans and salsa

Why Minor’s

Minor’s Ready to Flavor Bases and Flavor Concentrates give you:

  • Matching texture and consistency
    “As a paste product, the texture and consistency work with hummus perfectly, unlike other ingredients. For example, canned chipotles would require puréeing in a food processor, and the extra liquid would thin out the hummus, and dried chiles would make the hummus more grainy.”
    —Chef Diekman
  • A little goes a long way
    “As a concentrate, not a lot is needed to get the flavor nuances. Dried herbs and seasonings would require a heavy measure to be anywhere nearly as impactful. And there really isn’t an effective way to get the savory notes of roasted chicken and beef, or the fresh essence of lobster and crab.”
    —Chef Diekman
  • Precision
    Minor’s allows you to be very precise in how flavors are layered, without being overpowering.”
    —Chef Diekman
  • Cost savings
    “The labor savings is a big story—our bases are ready to go, no fuss, no prep (i.e. added equipment and small-wares to set-up and clean). No labor prep time (order, gather, purée, chop) for ingredient add-ins. Plus, the instant cost savings a concentrate brings.”
    —Chef Nelson

The Bigger Picture

The hummus trend points to a larger phenomenon in foodservice. Once there’s discovery and acceptance, flavor customization is key. Consumers today are more adventurous than ever, and are open to trying new flavors that they can’t get at home. They are increasingly turning to chef-driven concepts to experience new taste sensations. For operators, a constant innovation pipeline is crucial, balanced with ease of execution and SKU versatility.

Minor’s offers valuable flavor-building solutions, and now, with its new Ready to Flavor line of products, it’s easier than ever. Boost flavor in hummus dishes, aïolis, composed salads, dressings and more. With the same trusted high quality and consistency, Ready to Flavor is ready to whisk in—no cook-step required—allowing for faster and easier recipe prep.

All Minor’s products are now Ready to Flavor and tested Ready-to-Eat. According to the USDA and FDA, “Ready-to-Eat” (RTE) means the food is in a form that is edible without any additional preparation to achieve food safety.

Boost flavor in hot and cold applications.
View Minor’s full line of Ready to Flavor products that are food-safe for both.

 

About The Author

Jillian Werb

Digital Editor for Flavor & the Menu magazine. Based in Portland, Maine, and surrounded by good food.